UPDATE 1-Genesee & Wyoming profit beats expectations

Tue May 1, 2012 6:55am EDT

* Q1 EPS $0.52 vs est $0.49

* Q1 revenue up 8 pct

May 1 (Reuters) - Railroad operator Genesee & Wyoming Inc's quarterly earnings beat market expectations as new operations helped revenue growth, and said it expects improving business trends for the rest of 2012.

The company said net profit remained mostly unchanged from a year ago as it had to deal with a higher tax rate, weak coal shipments in the United States and outage on a portion of its rail network in Australia.

Genesee & Wyoming owns and operates railroads in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands, transporting commodities such as coal, paper, metals and minerals.

First-quarter net income was nearly flat at $22.2 million, or 52 cents per share. Revenue rose 8 percent to $207.4 million, including $6.7 million from new operations.

Analysts on an average expected earnings of 49 cents per share on revenue of $202.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the Greenwich, Connecticut-based company, which have fallen almost 12 percent since it forecast a weak first quarter in February, closed at $53.91 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange

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